Jeremy Saulnier, the director of the unusually and undeservedly lauded Blue Ruin, concocts a second feature where hot punk rock meets cold blooded murder.
As if playing a right wing skinhead bar wasn’t intimidating enough, a hardcore punk band become accidental witnesses to something they shouldn’t have seen, and are then targeted victims by a group of neo-Nazis headed by a very creepy Patrick Stewart. This is when Saulnier changes gears and turns Green Room into a survival horror film where the musicians are trapped in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by menacing elements.
Green Room works so well because it occupies a space directly between taking itself too seriously and complete self parody. The characters are real and sympathetic, the plot keeps you interested, and the mere fact that you want the band members to survive makes the whole film that much more thrilling. However, one interesting thing that particularly stands out about Green Room is that when a protagonist dies, their death is pointless and non-excessive – a refreshing risk that is not widely available in other horror films. Their deaths are not played for spectacle, which results in even more sympathy from the audience. Don’t worry though: the antagonists still die beautifully and in gruesome ways.
Once you add its killer soundtrack (occupied by the likes of Dead Kennedys covers and classic Fear), Green Room is solidified as an incredibly fun horror film that won’t leave movie goers disappointed on one end of the spectrum or depressed on the other.
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Shahbaz Khayambashi: @Shakhayam